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23 Pistons’ coaching candidates

Nate McMillan

The Pistons have recently tried a coach with NBA experience, Michael Curry. They’ve recently tried a coach with past success, Lawrence Frank.

Why not try for the best of both worlds?

Nate McMillan played in the league for more a decade and has turned around two franchises in pretty bleak times prior to his arrival. What he did in Seattle was good, but it was what he did in Portland that is really impressive. He dealt with tons of injuries (not including Greg Oden) and early character issues (Jailblazers holdovers), but he worked to rebuild and eventually turn it into a really fun and good team. Not to mention, he has experience working with older players in Seattle and younger ones in Portland, too.

-Brady Fredericksen

Jerry Sloan

Jerry Sloan has been out of the game for a fairly long time, but he is unquestionably a quality head coach. His teams have always been incredibly tough physically and mentally. Also, his teams have consistently executed quite well on offense as a product of his system. A little discipline and smarts could go a long way for the Pistons.

The criteria that could make his candidacy a little iffy: he is as old school as it gets. The younger players on the roster might encounter some issues with his hardnosed approach and fail to ingratiate themselves with him. This could potentially result in multiple DNP-CDs.

-J.M. Poulard

Kelvin Sampson

He was a possibility before Lawrence Frank, and there’s no reason to believe he isn’t one this time around. Sampson had his rough patches with the NCAA while he was coaching Indiana, but he was a pretty darn good coach while he was there – not to mention all the illegal stuff he did at Indiana is legal in the NBA.

Sampson’s been around the college game since Magic and Bird were battling for an NCAA title, and after spending the last four seasons learning the NBA game under Scott Skiles and Kevin McHale, he should probably be pretty well-schooled on the pro game now. It’s always risky to buy a college coach in a professional league, but Sampson could probably shouldn’t be pigeonholed as just a college coach anymore.

-Brady Fredericksen

David Fizdale

The hot new trend is to hire coaches who toiled in the video room to learn the game, and Fizdale, now a Heat assistant, did that. So did Erik Spoelstra. But so did John Kuester.

Fizdale helped LeBron James develop a post game, and that’s an instant draw to the coach. He’s recognized as one of the league’s up-and-comers, but he might have shown enough quite yet. Then again, a strong interview and a limited pool of candidates makes him an intriguing risk.

-Dan Feldman

Mike Budenholzer

Budenholzer may be a name unknown to many fans, but as a career assistant under Gregg Popovich, he’s learned from the best he could in that span. The Popovich coaching tree, which is actually a limb of the Larry Brown tree, includes active coaches like Jacque Vaughn, Mike Brown, Monty Williams, Vinny Del Negro, Avery Johnson and Doc Rivers.

His playing experience is limited to a high-scoring season spent in Denmark while simultaneously coaching the team’s youth affiliate. But seriously, 19 years under Popovich is something in itself. If you’re going to blindly take a coach from any coaching tree in the NBA, it’s Pop’s.

-Brady Fredericksen

Mike Malone

The Warriors assistant is the son of former Pistons assistant Brendan Malone, who served under Chuck Daly during the 1988-89 and 1989-90 championship seasons. The younger Malone has developed a reputation for instilling a no-nonsense defensive approach, and it’s only a matter of time until he becomes a head coach. Plus, the Warriors have been pretty good – both in record and player development – under Mark Jackson, and I really don’t want to credit Jackson for that. So, maybe that’s Malone’s influence.

-Dan Feldman

Brian Shaw

Brian Shaw is arguably one of the best assistant coaches in the NBA. The Lakers considered hiring him after Phil Jackson retired, but Mike Brown won the job instead. While he’s a great assistant coach and one of the main reasons Indiana’s defense is so good, Shaw very likely won’t join the Pistons. In fact, he turned down the Bobcats head coaching job because he wanted "to have a chance" to succeed. With the Pistons’ quick trigger for coaches, Shaw might not find this job desirable.

-Jameson Draper

Patrick Ewing

Ewing is well known for his role as a superstar on 90′s Knicks teams, but he’s been an assistant NBA coach for 10 years now, most notably as the Orlando Magic’s assistant coach for six years. He was a really big factor in developing Dwight Howard, who was, until this year, the best center in the league. Ewing becoming the Pistons head coach would be huge for Monroe and Drummond’s development and a lot of fun.

-Jameson Draper

Bill Laimbeer

Laimbeer’s WNBA success is undeniable, and for a moment, let’s pretend coaching in that league – which features a radically different power structure and playing style – is identical with coaching in the NBA. The big difference is NBA coaches make more money, and that draws a better pool of coaches. That means NBA coaches compete with the best coaches money can buy. WNBA coaches compete with less coachers. So, just because Laimbeer can outcoach his WNBA peers doesn’t mean he can necessarily outcoach NBA coaches.

In no way is this a knock on Laimbeer. It’s just an acknowledgement his résumé – which also features helping the Timberwolves to 15 and 17 wins as an assistant coach – shouldn’t simply mean he wins wherever he goes, because that sentiment lacks proper context.

-Dan Feldman

Stan Van Gundy

Unlike his TV-loving brother, Stan Van Gundy appears to be the more likely of the two brothers to return to an NBA bench soon. There are some reasons that might make the Pistons a good fit for him — notably Andre Drummond in a Dwight Howard-like role — but the rest of the roster (no great shooters) doesn’t really fit his coaching personality offensively.

Howard made a living out of impersonating him, but Van Gundy also isn’t afraid to get on a guy who isn’t performing. We’ve seen coaches in Detroit who were a little more laid back, to an extent, and perhaps a coach who will get on guys would help — or maybe they’d tune him out, too?

-Brady Fredericksen

Jeff Van Gundy

Well, we can start off with the reports Jeff Van Gundy apparently isn’t too fond of the current construction of this team:

"Detroit Pistons basketball slogan: When the going gets tough, we fire the coach," Van Gundy said. "It’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable. You know what surprises me, Chris? These new owners in Detroit have to be exceedingly bright to have made as much money as they have. And to be duped again that your G.M. tells you that the roster is good and the coach is bad … what was the problem with Michael Curry?  What was John Kuester? Now Lawrence. They run through coaches and they haven’t even begun to address their problem. They have very little talent and very little basketball character. You combine that, you’re going to be in a long rebuild.

"I’m just surprised that when everybody acknowledges it’s a player’s league – everybody would agree with that – then the most important player or person in any organization is the person that picks the players. But we don’t, as organizations, examine them. We just take the easy way out time and time again. You lose, the G.M. convinces the owner ‘We got good players. It’s the coach’s fault.’ We fire the coach; we bring a new coach in; we continue to lose. We fire that coach, saying that ‘We have better players.’ It just goes on and on. It’s typical and I can’t believe that the Detroit owners fell for it. I just can’t believe it."

Maybe Jeff Van Gundy, the smartest guy in the room on every NBA broadcast he’s ever done, has a strict idea of “basketball character.” I can see him thinking Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva have low basketball character, but most of the Pistons are basically young and naïve puppies. Van Gundy also built his reputation on hard-nosed defensive teams. At the Pistons’ current pace, they’re likely closer to being a good offensive team than a good defensive team, but it doesn’t look like he’s a likely candidate.

-Brady Fredericksen

Avery Johnson

Way back in 2009, before John Kuester and long before Lawrence Frank, Drew Sharp said the Pistons had a deal in place to sign Avery Johnson to a two-year contract. That deal was shot down by then-owner Karen Davidson, and so began the current dreadful stretch.

Fast forward to today, and it wouldn’t surprise me the least if Avery Johnson is one of the first guys Joe Dumars calls. He’s had success in the NBA as a player and coach, even though Brooklyn fired him. The question with Johnson is how would he handle coaching a mostly-young roster — something he’s never handled as a head coach.

-Brady Fredericksen

Mike Brown

The Pistons could use a head coach in the mold of Mike Brown. During his stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, he put a big emphasis on rebounding and defense. Considering the Pistons’ defensive shortcomings, Brown could potentially shore up that facet of the team. Granted, part of the issues can be attributed to the team’s youth, but Brown has proven that he can incorporate various types of players into his schemes.

-J.M. Poulard

Scott Skiles

Skiles, a former Michigan State player, resigned as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this season after four and a half seasons as head coach. He’s coached the Bucks, Bulls and Suns in the past 14 years. He’s made the playoffs in six of them, losing twice in the conference finals. Skiles was widely known as a hard-nosed coach (much like his play style), and a lot of people frown upon that. But in the end, Skiles wins more than he loses, and maybe the Pistons need some discipline. Lawrence Frank never seemed to fire the team up.

-Jameson Draper

Flip Saunders

In hindsight, Dumars might regret how quickly he fired previous coaches. Saunders was fired not because he wasn’t good enough to coach a team past the first round of the playoffs, but because he couldn’t coach a team to a championship. This team doesn’t have championship aspirations, and Saunders has been a good NBA coach. It would be a little awkward to return to a previous coach, but Saunders might be the most accomplished coach willing to take the job.

-Dan Feldman

Michael Curry

Another coach Dumars fired too quickly? Probably not, but many coaches improve in their second head job. Curry’s reputation, both among players and executives, is reportedly positive, and there’s a very high chance he’ll get another top gig, possibly as soon as next season.

Enough of the Pistons’ roster has turned over where re-hiring Curry wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. But the same general manager is in place, making this a near impossibility.

-Dan Feldman

Larry Brown

When the Pistons fired Rick Carlisle, who never won few than 50 games in Detroit, the logic was defended, because when you have a chance to hire Larry Brown, you do it. Well, once again, the Pistons probably have a chance to hire Brown, who’s coaching Southern Methodist University.

Brown’s fallout in Detroit mostly came with Bill Davidson, who’s no longer around. That doesn’t mean Brown didn’t also burn bridges with Pistons who are still with the franchise, but maybe Dumars is still fond of the Hall of Famer.

It’s extremely unlikely the Pistons could hire a better basketball mind than Brown. It’s also unlikely they could hire a bigger headache. At this point, the aggravation probably isn’t worth it.

-Dan Feldman

Doug Collins

Another ex-Pistons coach, Collins might be the least likely of the group listed here to become the Pistons’ next coach. Collins’ flame burns hot, but it doesn’t burn long, and that pattern is well-established throughout his career.

Coach three years, sit out six. Coach three years, sit out three. Coach two years, sit out seven.

Collins just coached three years with the 76ers. He’s not coming to Detroit now. This is his hibernation period.

-Dan Feldman

Phil Jackson

No. I mean, we could spell N-O out in a million ways, but there is literally zero chance that Phil Jackson is whistling to get Andre Drummond‘s attention from his special super-padded chair this season.

Phil’s basically got the keys to the car, and unless there’s a Hall of Famer waiting, he’s not driving. He can choose what he wants, where he wants to go, and how much power he’ll have there. To top it off, he’s going to cost an astronomical amount of money, like, $10-plus million a season. There’s no way Tom Gores go that route for a short-term option to lead a team that isn’t ready to win big.

-Brady Fredericksen

Isiah Thomas

Isiah is one of the legends of Detroit basketball, leading the Pistons to two titles as a player. The reality is, he’s never been successful in any other profession. He’s tried to make an impact as a coach or in the front, and it hasn’t worked out. He took a talented Pacers team in the early 2000s and made them mediocre. After that, he got another big opportunity with the Knicks. We all know how that worked out. Once he seemed to be completely out of a job, he got hired by lowly Florida International and drove them further into the ground. Thomas was a great player, but he’s an awful coach. The Pistons should not, and will not, hire him.

-Jameson Draper

Brad Stevens

Stevens should be the top choice of any NBA team looking to the college ranks, though that doesn’t necessarily make him a good candidate. College coaches haven’t translated well to the NBA lately, but Stevens – with his calm demeanor, thorough gameplans, attention to statistics and tactically sound defenses – is a better bet to buck the trend than anyone.

-Dan Feldman

Tom Izzo

I’m an Izzo fan boy and will always love him, but he’s not the right guy for the job. At Michigan State, he’s molded good college players into great college players. But the best coaches in the NBA don’t only mold players, they keep stars in check. Izzo doesn’t have enough experience doing that.

-Jameson Draper

John Beilein

If we’re going to mention Tom Izzo every time this job opens, shouldn’t Beilein come up, too? Moving past his small-time roots, Beilein has managed a roster with several future NBA players, shifted his style to use more ball screens and less zone defense and won a lot of out-scheming his peers. Beilein seems like a classic college coach, and I’m not sure he’d embrace the difficulties of being the NBA. But if he ever succeeds in the NBA, a lot of people would wonder why they didn’t see it coming.

-Dan Feldman

28 Comments

    • Apr 22, 20133:22 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Super interesting. Thanks for sharing. A hiring like this would definitely be a risk, but I’m pretty excited about the overall idea just because it is so outside the box. 

      • Apr 22, 20133:26 pm
        by Bob

        Reply

        Agreed.  I’d rather take a risk on him rather than on an unproven rookie coach. 

  • Apr 22, 20133:24 pm
    by Quick Darshan

    Reply

    When Beilein retires from coaching, he’d be a great guy to have as a front office consultant.  He’s got a knack for spotting talent others have overlooked (Burke, Hardaway Jr., Robinson III).  I’m sure he’d be able to find some undervalued NBA free agents.

  • Apr 22, 20133:37 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    mcmillan.
    stan van gundy.
    derek fisher.
    would love to see them take a hard look at fisher or even laimbeer.  too bad joe d seems to hate his former teammate.
    ewing is a joke.  i’m still trying to figure out what he taught howard all those years.  howard never developed even the semblance of an offensive game at orlando. 
    mcmillan will have the team in the playoffs if he gets the job.  only problem is he might lobby to ship out most of the young guys in exchange for vets and joe d might accomodate him on that request. 

  • Apr 22, 20134:04 pm
    by G

    Reply

    1 – Budenholzer
    2 – SVG
    3 – McMillan

    Budenholzer looks like he could be the best coach to come out of the Popovich tree, SVG is just more imaginative than McMillan, and McMillan could probably get this team playing defense again. I like Skiles at a DISTANT 4th, think he’s a good coach but players never like him. If you want a coach that’ll last more than 2 years, Skiles ain’t it.

    • Apr 22, 20135:24 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      That’s pretty much the same for me. I have Malone ahead of Skiles because I like the odds of him lasting for awhile better than the odds for Skiles. He’s still a ways below the top 3 though. I think I have Skiles 5th.

  • Apr 22, 20134:13 pm
    by moneysingh2010

    Reply

    Can we start to consider Rasheed Wallace coming in as a coach?
    -has players respect
    -leagues respect
    -smart
    -also if i remember properly Billups said before he was like a coach on the floor.(dont remember his exact words)

    • Apr 22, 20134:29 pm
      by G

      Reply

      What’s the ejections record for a coach in one season?

      • Apr 22, 20134:50 pm
        by moneysingh2010

        Reply

        Lol, I agree he might not be ready to coach but at least a assistant.

        • Apr 22, 20135:36 pm
          by oats

          Reply

          Stan Van Gundy as head coach, Rasheed as big man’s coach, and Abdenour as trainer. New record for techs by guys not on the court, check. Stan Van Gundy standing next to Abdenour and making me giggle, check. I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but it’d be entertaining to see.

          • Apr 23, 20138:24 am
            by G

            They could get Ron Jeremy as a SVG stand-in. SVG gets ejected, turns around in the huddle, they do a quick change and Ron Jeremy leaves the game dressed like SVG. Money in the bank.

  • Apr 22, 20134:27 pm
    by Clint in Flint

    Reply

    1   Laimbeer  Won’t happen
    2   Budenholzer   
    3   SVG or Sloan
     

  • Apr 22, 20134:39 pm
    by sebastian

    Reply

    This dude may have been a great coach in the European Leagues, but the NBA is not a European League.
    Sorry, but this is an asinine idea.

    • Apr 22, 20135:32 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      D’Antoni started off in Italy. I’m not in love with D’Antoni, but he at least proves that there is some ability to translate Euro success in to NBA success as a coach, and it should be noted that Obradovic has a much better resume than D’Antoni did. The big difference is that D’Antoni spent more time with American basketball than Obradovic. Still, the idea isn’t asinine, even if it seems like Obradovic should be a fringe candidate.

  • Apr 22, 20136:18 pm
    by T Casey

    Reply

    Nice article. Although, the knock on Laimbeer as an assistant with the Timberwolves isn’t fair. Assistant’s don’t really have much pull in the way a team is run as they act more as ane extension of whatever coach they are an assistant to. Hence why Lawrence Frank had a great stint as an assistant to Doc Rivers, but seemed completely lost here as a head coach. You can’t really read much into a coaching situation where the person in question only had minimal control.

  • Apr 22, 20136:43 pm
    by Wolverines23

    Reply

    1. Mike Budenholzer (future coach for years) – I could see him as a franchise coach for the next decade. Staying with Greg Popp and the Spurs for 19 years is an amazing accomplishment. 

    2. Brian Shaw (future coach for years) – Player’s coach/Phil Jackson experience, and a job well done in Indiana can all lead to a great candidate. But with the playoffs in the mix and many other job openings available, not sure if it works out. He also reportedly wants a chance to win? 

    3. Nate McMillian – see him as a temporary coach, who could work for now, but I’d rather have someone who could grow with Knight/Monroe/Drummond/plus 2013 draft pick/plus 2014 draft pick.

    4. Current players who would make good coaches:

    Derek Fisher/Chauncey Billups (still play for OKC/L.A. Clippers respectively, someone mentioned Fisher as a NBA coach (also has 5 rings, knows how ti win), I think he could be the next Mark Jackson, same goes for Billups, he doesn’t look to be the same player after his injury). Obviously they would have to retire first and the playoffs would have to be over for their teams, which won’t be until Late May/June for OKC.
     

  • Apr 22, 20136:50 pm
    by Eric

    Reply

    I would add Lionel Hollins to this list.

  • Apr 22, 20136:58 pm
    by robert bayer

    Reply

    Dan .. not sure why you elected to do Laimbeer’s chances since it is well know you  hate the Bill’s guts .. lol .. I find it curious that you put Michaell Curry in such a positive and even lied (Curry will a head coach next season?!) to make him sound impressive .. MC was absolutely idiotic during his stay as a  real Piston head coach .. and it was because the players told Joe D they couldnt handle another season of him that Joe reversed himself and fired him and put us all out of misery . until the next lousy hire .. and the next …

    The thing is .. Laimbeer has earned the shot .. especially if you are going to give the head coaching position to a bunch of guys who never have done anything .. which has been the case so far…   

    Nevertheless you made an extreme effort to not sound like you were gritting your teeth while typing that out .. so it does not sound like the venom I have seen in other posts about Laimbeer ..   

    The truth is none of you journalists have ever been right about the last 3 head coaches … You supported them and then they did a whole messload of dumb manure stuff ..Yeah.. I already posted your support here at this site from past posts on the Internet .. It got you and Patrick mad .. Fine ..  So …. Your guess is as good as the drunk guy sitting next to me at the bar ..

    Forgive me for my own venom.. You do an excellent job and the only thing I hate about you is your view on Laimbeer .. Just think of me as the other drunk guy at the bar ..   

        

    • Apr 22, 20137:35 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      I don’t have the energy to go in to all of this crazy, but I want to tackle the Michael Curry thing. Basic reading comprehension would tell you there wasn’t a lie there. Or, failing that, the ability to click on a link would do it. Michael Curry is interviewing for NBA head coaching jobs this year, and therefore it is possible that he could be an NBA head coach next year. Dan didn’t say that he will be, just that it is possible. 
       
      The rest of that stuff is the same nonsense that came up the last time the Pistons had a coaching vacancy. Let me say this, not wanting Laimbeer to coach the Pistons is not hating Laimbeer. These two things do not have to go hand in hand. Honestly, Detroit’s last two coaches had better resume’s than Laimbeer. Kuester was a long time and well liked assistant. Obviously he didn’t work out, but Kuester had the kind of resume that suggested he was deserving of a shot. Frank actually did a decent job in NJ when he first took over before his talent was largely stripped down. Laimbeer has success in a league with relatively little in common with the NBA, and a personality that many NBA front offices have deemed too problematic to consider him as an NBA head coach. Obviously now those first two guys have weaker resumes since they have to add their failures in Detroit to them, but at the time of their getting hired they had better resumes than Laimbeer currently does.

  • Apr 22, 20137:33 pm
    by sop

    Reply

    out of the real candidates:
    1. McMillan
    2. Ewing
    3. Avery Johnson
    4. Brian Shaw
    5. Mike Brown
     
     

  • Apr 22, 20137:44 pm
    by Wolverines23

    Reply

    • Apr 22, 201310:21 pm
      by oats

      Reply

      Ick, Bleacher Report. I actually gave it a read and I thought it was pretty shoddy. I want to start with the biggest flaw, but there are several. I’ll start with the throwing away next season plan though. The article advocates that as the primary plan, but it also projects Detroit as finishing with a pick somewhere in the 5-10 range next season while attempting to throw the season away. The problem with this plan is obvious, if next year’s pick is 9 or lower then the pick gets sent to Charlotte. Using their projections Detroit would have a 40% chance of throwing away the season and getting no real gain for doing so. Yikes. This season Detroit almost ended up with the 9th pick. One more win and losing the coin flip would have done it, or two more wins would do it. If Detroit makes even modest improvements then that pick is gone.
       
      I think that was the biggest flaw, but let’s cover some more. It suggested trading Knight, Stuckey, and the 7th pick for Rondo and Boston’s pick at 16. Why does Boston do that? Also, Rondo’s poor shooting makes him a flawed pairing with Monroe and Drummond, Detroit should do it anyways because Rondo is way better than Knight, but it isn’t as huge of a positive for Detroit as it sounds. Boston should ask for more, and I don’t know if it makes sense for Detroit to give them what Boston should get for Rondo.
       
      It wants Detroit to take Trey Burke with the top pick if it wins the lottery. That’s dumb. Burke is not one of the 3 best players in the draft. Noel, Porter, and McLemore are clearly the 3 best players and Detroit absolutely should get one of them.
       
      It advocates signing Josh Smith without considering his fit on the team. If Smith is to play the 4 he cuts in to Monroe and Drummond’s minutes. If he is playing the 3 he is a terrible shooter, and with Monroe and Drummond already clogging the paint he’ll likely take even more shots he has no business attempting. He is a terrible fit in Detroit.
       
      It argues for English to be a rotation player. He was awful, and as non guaranteed player the odds are really high that English gets cut. Sorry, it’s true.
       
      It thinks Iggy will get $10 million dollars, and it thinks Jose Calderon will too. Umm, what? Calderon will definitely get paid less than Iggy. I’d bet Calderon is closer to the $6 or 7 million range and Iggy will be in the $12-15 million range. None of that made sense.
       
      It should also be noted that the article think Bynum is the best player on the Pistons at running the pick and roll, which is super crazy. Calderon is one of the best at it in the league. 
       
      It also wants Detroit to roll over cap space to try to get Paul George next time around. Indy knows what they have in George, and they will match an offer on him. They also have Detroit going after Eric Bledsoe, a guy who isn’t that different from Knight on offense.

      • Apr 23, 20138:29 am
        by G

        Reply

        I swear, I have less respect for bleacher report’s opinions than I do for any commenter on this site, and some people I STRONGLY disagree with.

  • Apr 22, 201310:33 pm
    by Jason

    Reply

    I strongly believe the Pistons should do everything in their power to bring Flip Saunders back to the organization. His offensive mindset would work much better with this young lineup, i have no  doubt that Pistons fans would welcome him back with open arms. 

  • Apr 22, 201311:59 pm
    by shawn brown

    Reply

    one thing is for certain.   i wouldnt want any part of jeff van gundy.   hes as overated as they come.   and if he was such a basketball genius you would ve thought he could ve done a bit more with a t-mac in his prime and ming.   not to mention he seems to have an obsession with hating on the pistons.   he just grates on me.   his “smartest guy in the room”  routine gets on my nerves.

  • Apr 23, 20134:39 am
    by AshyJoe

    Reply

    How is it possible that nobody has mentioned Lindsey Hunter?

    Here’s my thought process:
    *He’s had 4 months of on-the-job training in Phoenix, and I think we can all agree Phoenix has significantly less talent and upside than our Pistons. Hunter would come in with enough experience to not be in way over his head, and would have familiarity with the GM and franchise… not to mention he’d be able to assemble his own staff. This is also important because:
    *We need to avoid the “recycle bin” of coaches. All due respect to Avery Johnson, Nate McMillan, the van Gundy bros, et al, but the carousel of coaches is a fool’s errand to a team like the Pistons. These types of coaches will usually succeed if they come into a situation where a team identity already exists (like Flip Saunders did with the Pistons for a bit, or Vinny del Negro with Chicago vs. his time now in LA)… but if they could take a team without that core identity and develop that, and turn the team into a cohesive unit, they most likely wouldn’t have left their previous job. Which brings me to:
    *Lindsey Hunter has a championship pedigree. His two rings speak would speak very loud in the locker room full of twentysomethings that the Pistons are going to have next season. With such a young team:
    *Outside of Jason Maxiell (who is unlikely to be retained, unless it’s on a very small deal), none of these guys played with Hunter. This significantly reduces the chance of someone blowing him off, or blatantly disrespecting him (a la Michael Curry). 
    *Finally, think about what Lindsey Hunter was over the last couple years of his career: 1) a player coach. He was always mentoring young players and even guys like Rip and Chauncey in their prime paid close attention to what he had to say, and 2) a defensive specialist.  

    Championship experience, head coaching experience (without being another washed out retread), former player, is big part of Pistons history, brings a defensive identity, has a knack for teaching his guys rather than just managing them. What isn’t to like about Lindsey Hunter as the Pistons next head coach?
    (Also, if he could bring in Sheed as an assistant, that would be glorious) 

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